With the opening of 'True Grit' Dec. 22, audiences will finally have the chance to view one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The second adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel -- the first being the 1969 version starring John Wayne in his Oscar-winning role -- tells the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (the unknown Hailee Steinfeld) who hires haggard, drunk Marshal "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to hunt down and kill the man (Josh Brolin) who murdered her father. Along the way, they are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), and the three embark on a gritty tale of revenge in the Old West.
Viewers have anxiously been waiting to see directors Joel and Ethan Coen's trademark visual style applied to a classic tale that has entertained generations of audiences. All the elements are in place for high excitement and high expectations. With so many unique talents involved, the film is getting some of the best reviews of the year. Critics are nearly unanimous in their praise of the beautiful cinematography and have been heaping plaudits on the entire cast. The film is shaping up to be a big Oscar contender and to find out why it works so well, read our roundup of critics' 'True Grit' reviews.